ICT is another sector where women are under-represented and earn less than men. Parliament is calling for action to rectify the situation.
The digital sector offers highly skilled, well-paid jobs but fails to attract and employ many women..
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is a growing sector that creates 120,000 new jobs every year. In 2014 it accounted for 4.2% of the EU’s gross domestic product. However, by 2020, the EU will lack 900,000 skilled ICT workers.
Women are still under-represented in this sector: they are less likely to take up studies in this field and are much less represented in the ICT job market.
Women made up only 17.2% of the 1.4 million people who chose to information and communication technologies in the EU in 2015 and only 16.7% of the nearly 8.2 million employed as ICT specialists in the EU in 2016.
The situation is also dire compared to other industries. Women only take up 19% of managerial position in ICT whereas the average for other sectors is 45%.
Women empowerment in the ICT sector is one of the topics discussed during activities to mark International Women's Day at the European Parliament. In 2016 MEPs already adopted a resolution on gender equality and empowering women in the digital age. German Greens/EFA member Terry Reintke, author of the resolution, said: "We wanted to highlight there is a gender gap within what we call the digital revolution. There is a gap and very often women are left out. We wanted to make suggestions how we can change that."
The EU already has many initiatives to promote and encourage women to take up ICT-related careers, including EU Code Week, Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs, European Network of Women Web Entrepreneurs Hubs, the Startup Europe Leaders Club, European Digital Skills Awards, and the EU Prize for Women Innovators.